One of the problems last year was the hatches in the stern. Firstly, they leaked, and, secondly, the tiller got in the way when opening them. So the new design had to solve both those problems and still leave two lockers with openings large enough to take, for instance, a spare fuel can, meths etc that we don’t want to store below, plus immediately accessible warps, fenders, a fishing line and so on. It also needed to be lockable. This is the result. They lock from the inside – (answers on a postcard, please!).
Also, the false cockpit floor had taken a battering with large crew members for ever stepping heavily onto it. By putting in floorboards – (two for ease of removal), the load has been spread. Also, the slight problem we have with the small amount of water coming back through the cockpit drain has been reduced (not yet solved) by the extra height of the boards. And, finally, it looks good.
The third improvement, apart from the new halyard winches, is the option to put a polystyrene weatherboard in the companionway. It gives a clear view through to the cockpit from the cabin. When not in use, it stows in a smart Velcro-ed foam pocket to prevent scratching. I opted for the double weather board because I found the single one that was there previously difficult to stow when not in use. With the new lower one installed, I can still get in and out of the hatchway without having to remove it – (just!). There is another upper board that locks in place.